Developed to ensure that a brainstorming session is

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Unformatted text preview: e that a brainstorming session is properly conducted. q Group size should be about five to seven people. If there are too few people, not enough suggestions are generated. If too many people participate, the session becomes uncontrolled and uncontrollable. q No criticism is allowed. All suggestions should be welcome, and it is particularly important not to use derisive laughter or disapproving non-verbal behaviour. q Freewheeling is encouraged. The more outlandish (even impractical, off-the-wall) the idea, the better. It is always easier to moderate an idea than to dream it up. q Quantity and variety are very important. The more ideas put forth, the more likely is a breakthrough idea. The aim is to generate a long list of ideas. q Combinations and improvements are encouraged. Building on the i deas of others, i ncluding combining them, is very productive. “Hitchhiking” and “piggy-backing” are essential parts of cooperation in brainstorming. q Notes must be taken during the sessions, either manually or with an electronic recording device. One person serves as “recording secretary”. q The alternatives generated during the first part of the session should later be edited for duplication and categorizations. At some point the best ideas can be set aside for possible implementation. q The session should not be over-structured by following any of the preceding seven rules too rigidly. Brainstorming is a spontaneous small-group process and is meant to be fun. Claimed Advantages Among the claimed advantages of brainstorming are the following (Napier and Gershenfeld 1985): Business Strategy Review 1. Reduces dependence on a single authority figure. 2. Encourages open sharing of ideas. 3. Stimulates participation among group members. 4. Provides individual safety in a competitive group. 5. Maximises output for a short period of time. 6. Ensures a non-evaluative climate. 7. Tends to be enjoyable and stimulating. And again: “Brainstorming is a popular method of encouraging creative thinking. Its main advantage is deferred judgement, by which all ideas – even unusual and impractical ones – are encouraged without criticism or evaluation. Ideas are recorded as fast as they can be suggested; then they are evaluated for usefulness at a later time. The purpose of deferred judgment is to encourage people to propose bold, unique ideas without worrying about what others think of them; this approach typically produces more ideas than the conventional approach of thinking and judging concurrently. Brainstorming sessions last from ten minutes to one hour and require no preparation other than general knowledge of the subject. Other advantages of brainstorming are enthusiasm, broader participation, greater task orientation, building upon ideas exchanged, and the feeling that the final product is a team solution.” ( Davis & Newstrom 1987, p221) Empirical Research on Brainstorming Taylor et al (1958) were the first to reject the claim that brainstorming wa...
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